There is no fear in love - The man who feels that he loves God with all his heart can never dread him as his Judge. As he is now made a partaker of his Spirit, and carries a sense of the Divine approbation in his conscience, he has nothing of that fear that produces terror or brings torment. The perfect love - that fullness of love, which he has received, casteth out fear - removes all terror relative to this day of judgment, for it is of this that the apostle particularly speaks. And as it is inconsistent with the gracious design of God to have his followers miserable, and as he cannot be unhappy whose heart is full of the love of his God, this love must necessarily exclude this fear or terror; because that brings torment, and hence is inconsistent with that happiness which a man must have who continually enjoys the approbation of his God.
He that feareth - He who is still uncertain concerning his interest in Christ; who, although he has many heavenly drawings, and often sits with Christ some moments on a throne of love, yet feels from the evils of his heart a dread of the day of judgment; is not made perfect in love - has not yet received the abiding witness of the Spirit that he is begotten of God; nor that fullness of love to God and man which excludes the enmity of the carnal mind, and which it is his privilege to receive. But is the case of such a man desperate? No: it is neither desperate nor deplorable; he is in the way of salvation, and not far from the kingdom of heaven. Let such earnestly seek, and fervently believe on the Son of God; and he will soon give them another baptism of his Spirit, will purge out all the old leaven, and fill their whole souls with that love which is the fulfilling of the law. He who is not yet perfect in love may speedily become so, because God can say in a moment, I will, be thou clean; and immediately his leprosy will depart. Among men we find some that have neither love nor fear; others that have fear without love; others that have love and fear; and others that have love without fear.